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WARMING UP TO INITIATIVE.EU - The online community to federate stakeholders for European Citizens’ Initiatives (ECIs)


26 Jan 2012

Fondation EurActiv PoliTech released the public beta-version of the platform, the online community to federate stakeholders for European Citizens’ Initiatives, today. 

The ECI is one of the major innovations of the Treaty of Lisbon, aimed at increasing participatory democracy in the European Union. Citizens can bring forward EU policy proposals, if supported by 1 million people from across at least 7 EU Member States. The official kick-off date for the ECI is April 1, 2012.

“The aim of is threefold” said Daniel van Lerberghe, Co-founder of and Director Social Media at Fondation EurActiv PoliTech. “ provides a set of online tools for potential ECI initiators to formulate and debate their ECI ideas. will also help stakeholders across Europe to bring together their initiatives and forge stronger coalitions. And last but not least, will improve the quality of the ECI initiatives before they are officially registered and obtain the support of 1 million citizens.” was launched today at the Warming up to the European Citizens’ Initiative conference hosted by Maroš Šefčovič, the European Commission Vice-President responsible for the European Citizens’ Initiative process. “European Citizens' Initiatives will open a new chapter in the democratic life of the EU. Driven by citizens themselves, they will offer a direct line to Brussels and foster truly pan-European political debates. is exactly the sort of creative, bottom-up response that I hoped to see, and I congratulate Fondation EurActiv PoliTech on their efforts” said the Commission Vice-President Šefčovič.

Christophe Leclercq, Co-founder of, introduced at today’s conference in the session on ‘The potential for using social networks’ alongside representatives from Facebook, Google, Twitter, Dailymotion and the Gartner Group. “ is a small but unique contribution to help ECI initiators ahead of the formal registration process”, said Leclercq. “But the ECI also has the potential to liven up EU policy debates. And when it does and where relevant, EurActiv’s editors, present in 15 capitals, will cover the debates generated by the ECIs. I see, for example, the first ECIs already succeeding in 2012. And the ECI will also be used as a tool in the formulation of the political programmes in 2013 and during the election campaigns ahead of the European Parliament elections in 2014.”

Also today, is starting Special Report coverage on the Countdown to the European Citizens’ InitiativeToday’s article is based on an interview with European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič. The full transcript of the interview is also available. The ECI Special Report coverage will continue until Tuesday, 31 January 2012.

Further information on is an initiative of the Social Media Department of Fondation EurActiv PoliTech, which also runs the blog platform

Partners include La Netscouade, the leading French social media consultancy behind French Presidential campaigns. 

These are the 5 pillars of the platform:

 Initiate – ECI initiators can create a space to grow their ECI and gather support

 Debate – submit ideas on the ECI debates of their choice

 Support – as stakeholders, they can follow the ECIs of their choice

 Join – create a profile and participate in the ECI polls, surveys and all of the above

 Explore – Just wandering around? Be our guest !

You can also follow on Twitter @Initiative_eu / #Initiative_eu and on Facebook ( Introductory videos are available on our YouTube channel. 

Media contacts:

Daniel van Lerberghe, Co-founder of & Director Social Media, Fondation EurActiv PoliTech, +32(0)2.788.36.92,

Dominique Ostyn, Senior Manager Communication & New Media +32(0)2.788.36.88, 

Christophe Leclercq, Founder & Publisher,; Co-founder of & Fondation EurActiv PoliTech, +32(0),

Note to the editor:   

Fondation EurActiv PoliTech is a Belgian foundation set up in 2003. Its activities include: research; advice for European media; logistical support to partners; training (to over 100 people, since 2004). Fondation EurActiv also provides with guidance on editorial strategy, media independence and social media. Over time it is widening its scope to include coaching on policy information and helping non Brussels-based on-line media to get a foothold in EU circles.

EurAcitv is the independent online media network dedicated to EU policy, counting 609,000 unique visitors monthly together with the Web 2.0 platform Set up in 1999, the network is an important working instrument for actors (institutions, industry federations, NGOs, think tanks, the press and others) involved in defining or influencing EU policies. The EurActiv Network publishes EU policy news and information in 15 languages from offices in the capitals of 15 European countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, United Kingdom and Turkey. The Network's national policy portals are accessible here 

In order to provide free services and ensure independence, EurActiv's services are financed from four sources: corporate sponsoring, EurActor membership, online advertising and EU projects. General sponsors of are: GE Energy, the Nickel Institute, Enel, First Solar, People First Foundation, United Technologies and VISA Europe. Section sponsors of are: ABInBev, ArcelorMittal, Boeing, Camfil, Coca-Cola, Dow, Euro-ciett, General Electric, Honeywell, Microsoft, MSD, Trans Adriatic Pipeline, Unilever and Yara. EurActiv also has 60 “content partners” (NGOs & think tanks) as well as ca. 500 “contributors”, providing their policy positions for free publication, based on EurActiv's editorial discretion. content extracts can be re-used for free by other media, subject to clear attribution, and a copy sent to Input welcome: at Opinion / Editorial pieces can be sent to


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